Lots of authors have no interest in marketing and sales, and they don’t make good candidates for self-publishing. There’s nowhere else in self-publishing where you can see the distance between writing books and publishing them so clearly.

Writing is a creative, often solitary work. Marketing means connecting with a larger network of people, bringing the work you’ve created to a larger public.

Start Your Marketing Before You Write the Book

Self-publishers—especially nonfiction authors—give themselves the best chance of success by focusing on how they will market the book before they write it. Why? How your book addresses the basic question of the readers you hope to sell it to will be crucial in how well it’s received in the market.

Book Reviews for Book Marketing

The first form of marketing most self-publishers explore is book reviews. Since a review is editorial content, it’s much more persuasive for most readers than advertising or promotional copy.

The biggest challenge for new self-publishers is understanding the kind of marketing effort it’s going to take to get the word out about their book. But the internet has created an environment in which we can compete on a much more level playing field.

Being savvy about how to create interest, traffic and sales online takes skills and work to find out how the pieces fit together. Building an author platform, using social media, and the distribution options you’ve made for your book will all come into play.

There is so much more to explore about marketing our books, because it strikes to the heart of why we published the books in the first place. Certainly anyone who hopes to profit from their publishing needs to treat it as a business.

Your marketing ideas for your book contain both the reason you wrote it and the people who stand to benefit from it. Understanding these two poles, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to start the communication that will become your marketing effort.

Because marketing information is essentially a form of communication in which both parties stand to gain from the process.

As with everything else in this field, each successful self-publisher solves the marketing of their book differently, and often with surprising ingenuity.

Some people drive online traffic with keyword strategies. Others sell books in the back of the room during presentations and workshops. Some authors become social media “celebrities” amassing huge followings, others become experts and spokespeople for their cause.

So don’t be the publisher who ends up with a garage full of books and suddenly realizes she has no idea what to do with them. Think through your plan as early in the process as you can. Identify your ideal readers and how you can reach them. That is the beginning of marketing your self-published book.